Travel. I wanna.
When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.” – William Least Heat Moon
Story setting is important. People like to read about far away places, new places, places that they may never travel to. I like reading those things too.
Setting also provides atmosphere and emotional subtext. The house on the hill maybe perfectly normal and nonthreatening until shown against a backdrop of pale moonlight mixed in with an approaching storm. Setting encompasses all of the senses. Add a hoot owl or a screeching bird of some sort and the image becomes more spooky. Add the smell of mold and decay coming from the wooden front porch. Add the stated rumor of a deal gone bad at the house, or a domestic disturbance that ended in a missing person, or a creepy old man who used to live there who collected chainsaws and voila!
Morocco, that strip of coast on the northwestern edge of Africa has long been an exotic local. The movie Casablanca took place there. The Clash sang about it (although that song is not really about Morocco per se. But it’s a hook.)
And what does Morocco have to do with anything, especially with the house on the hill? Er. Nothing. Just saying that the link has a good bunch of descriptions that might lead to some interesting stories. Setting can also be a launch for a story.
Mary Buckham has three very useful books about writing setting, and how setting fits into a story. I should read them again.
How does my setting affect my story?
I’d better have a setting otherwise I’m floating around tied to nothing. In a void. Hanging out in space with Sandra Bullock (Gravity).